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Decision Making


The ability to make a natural decision, as opposed to a forced decision is not well understood. It may be because only a small percentage of humanity can make a decision naturally. Sure, lots of effort is spent teaching people how to make decisions. Perhaps a best example would be at West Point or other military schools. Officers are exposed to the preferred methodology for making decisions, taking into account a lot of factors, nee metrics, in the process. However, it appears from my perspective that people who have to learn to make decisions revert to relying upon metrics to support the decisions they render, and end up looking for metrics to support the decision instead of making decision based upon metrics that appear readily. Sometimes, they delay the decision until a metric shows up, but the passage of time has greatly influenced the metric upon which reliance is based such that a more timely decision would have been different, but the metric that otherwise to influence the decision would not have occurred at all. In the end, though, it looks like there is support for the decision that was “made”.

This all takes us to basketball. More than any other major sport, basketball is dependent upon repeated decisions of each of the players on the court. They are each charged with assimiulating the data that is presenting to them, and which data is being presented alternatively by all of the other players on the court. Everything changes as each millisecond goes by such that the reliance upon metrics is an illusion as the metrics are BRAND NEW in each instance, except until a player delays long enough that a recognized metric presents itself. However, that wait, the failure to decide, actually forces a metric and misses the opportunity for an original decision. Learning how to make the original decision, in reliance upon a players personal book of knowledge, is dependent upon that players ability to assimulate past give and takes in a manor to avoid the gap in the process. However, as mentioned above, it is only a small percentage of the population that leans in the direction of self trust enough to make the decsions as they are presented, not waiting for the verifying metric to appear. Sure, maybe the percentage in the NBA is higher or the players would not get there in the first place, but that supposition is not necessarily true. They could be talented enough that they could be protected by the other players, knowingly or without thought, from the making of decisions. It is possible, and highly likely, that coaches would shelter certain players from the decision making process, advising them “exactly” what to do and hoping that circumstances fall out as anticipated. Of course, there are glaring examples of a player making a decision that is hard to comprehend, and that circumstance is brought on by the nature of the game – constantly changing.

Some players have an easier time making decisions because they can dictate the circumstances that require the decision in the first place. LeBron is one of those to the extent that he gets one on one and he has the ball in his hands. That decision making is easy for him. However, when he is not one on one,or when he is on defense, the ability to dictate is minimalized and he is left to making decisions with many more variables. This raises two issues. One, is he a natural decision maker or is he one who has learned how to make decisions by being taught about the process by someone else. If he is intuitive in decision making, then he will always be advancing his book of knowledge as he plays. If he is a learner, then he only advances his book based upon being taught, again and again, based upon review of what has taken place. This last process can work, but it is slower and more time consuming, and less effective than the intuitive methodology. Only the intuitive learner can expand the book beyond what is commonly known by others. (See, Magic Johnson for the best example.) Two, is really buried in one, but it is how fast can he expand his knowledge book and do those around him learn to trust his expansion such that their decision making effort approximate his, as adjusted. This all reflects, ultimately upon the level of trust that goes back and forth during the game, and between games.

Based upon the ending of the last two games in the Western Conference Finals, it seems as if GS players are more fluid in their collective decision making than was OKC. Perhaps OKC will improve on this based upon the opportunity to learn that was presented to them. Their book of knowledge should expand and Donovan may be able to help them see that – if he recognizes any of this himself. GS may well be better than most across the board in this regard. Remember, not to be discounted, Curry and Thompson each have a book of knowledge that includes a generation of learning by their dads that is at least partially passed along, both by DNA and by Role Modeling during their youth.

I will be watching this aspect, on both teams, as the Finals play out. Let’s see who intuitive trusts themselves, and conveys that trust to teammates such that the reciprocal trust kicks back, over and over between all members of the team. Shit, anyone else get any of this?

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